sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 27, 2007

what would be in your curriculum?
posted by soe 11:30 pm

Last month Shannon Hale, who wrote the Newbery award-winning The Princess Academy took some time between feeding her newborn and being sick with a stomach bug to contemplate the issue of high school English class curricula.

I thought it tied in nicely with a conversation I had with one of my aunts back at Christmas. My cousin is a 16-year-old boy, and he has not found a lot that he’s interested in reading. He isn’t helped, I don’t think, by a mother who also did not enjoy a lot of what she read in high school and is disinclined to try to figure out what a teacher is attempting to get a student to learn by reading a certain text.

I think we would all acknowledge that most high school English classes leave something to be desired. Think back to when you were in high school. (I’ll wait while the black and white newsreels rewind and the scratchy violin and organ music play…)

What do you remember reading? What did you think of the books at the time? And looking back now?

I definitely remember reading some great things — books I enjoyed at the time, as well as books that I understood the importance of in retrospect. But I also recall some books that were just painful and a few that I didn’t bother to read at all. (Moby Dick springs to mind.)

But I know we can do better. (more…)

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